The Heatley CliffSchool Suspends 5-Year-Old For Having Mohwak: A Mom's PerspectiveAmy Foster

This week, I am taking a little break from my normal posts relating to the Heatley Cliff (although you can listen to our fun-filled podcast on believing in magic by clicking play above) because this issue really got my back up and I had to blog about it.

According to The Huffington Post, 5-year-old Ethan Clos was suspended from his Ohio elementary school because he had decided to style his hair into a mohawk.

Now, I’m not talking a 1980s Sex Pistols type of mohawk that’s dyed purple or red, held up with crazy glue into spikes that are so high you can’t even get into a car – I’m talking about a cute, one inch little number that’s slicked up with a bit of his mom’s gel. The type of haircut that Gwen Stefani and Angelina Jolie give their kids. It’s cute and fun and also apparently super threatening to the school board.

The superintendent’s office claimed that Ethan’s hair was a distraction and that it went against the school’s dress code policy. To this, I can only say in the wise and immortal words of Amy Poehler and Seth Myers: ...Really?

Really school board? Really? Because I think you should be more concerned with the 26% of the students in your state that won’t graduate from high school. Or how about the fact that in 2010, you had 33,000 homeless children in your state and that number, according to the statistics, was on the rise? Or how about the fact that 22% of your kids live in poverty?

Call me crazy, but I kind of think that might be something to focus on rather than Ethan’s hair.

So the kindergarten kids were distracted by his mohawk. You know what else distracts 5-year-olds? Let’s see… dogs, cats, bubbles, The Fresh Beat Band, cars, Cars the movie, Disneyland, gum, chocolate, music, airplanes, Spongebob, farting, running water, sirens, the lights being turned on and off, computers, noise of any kind, running shoes with lights in them, pizza, blankets, monsters, Yo Gaba Gaba, dragons, dinosaurs, Cinderella, the weather, Mermaids, being outside, shiny things… I think you get the idea.

It’s not like you don’t know what’s coming, educators. It’s not like you don’t know that in 9 or 10 years, Ethan, like all teenagers, will be on the dark side of the moon and unable to communicate with earth (aka any form of civilization, especially teachers and parents). It’s not like you don’t know that teens have to deal with a barrage of issues- drugs, sex, bullying, drinking, navigating their peer groups, etc. It can’t be that you don’t have any clue as to the fact that a parent gets to the point that if a mohawk is the way in which their child wants to rebel, they thank their lucky stars and tell their kids to have at it. Hair is nothing. Hair grows back. Driving drunk or getting pregnant – those issues can’t be solved in a hair salon.

But no, really, it’s great that you set up this little adversarial relationship with Ethan at such a tender age so that he learns early on that school and teachers are out to get him. I mean, how can that go wrong?

Let’s just hope that cool little Ethan Clos will rise above your petty fear of early onset individualism and become a kick ass young man despite your efforts to make him feel like an outsider or like he’s done something wrong because he likes what he sees in the mirror.

Shame on you Reid Elementary School of Springfield, Ohio. Get your priorities straight.

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  • Kirsten Zoe Hyer

    Beautiful. Just. Freaking…fantastic.

  • Crystal Detty

    Many schools disguise a dress code as “preparing students for the professional workforce” at least thats what my high school handbook said. Administrations expect children to be professional, however there is a time and a place for professionalism, that place is not elementary school.

  • Karen Taylor

    I see this on boys of all ages here in Oklahoma, and to the best of my knowledge none have been suspended from school. Somebody needs to pull their head out and start worrying about the real problems like budget cuts, drugs in the schools, and bullying.

  • Susie Klein

    OK this really is shocking to me! My sons are grown now but I was called into the school office more than once because my Junior High sons hair was a “distraction”. Really?
    But my office call was way back in like 1999 or so! At a Christian school. so that kinda makes sense, but now? I am shocked and amazed!

  • LeAnn Ruth Buschbaum

    Maybe if schools broadened and modernized their curriculum so it wasn’t so flipping boring, kids wouldn’t be so distracted all the time.

  • Colleen Brannigan

    I am guessing this maybe because some child went home and wanted a mohawk, and some uptight parents contacted the school about it. Unless his mohawk can talk, I can’t believe that this kept other children’s attention for very long.

  • Tracey White

    Once again, a school suspends a kid for being “distracting” when the only people he’s distracting are the adults. Kids don’t care about this stuff. They might notice his hair on day one, just as they’d notice anyone else’s new haircut and then they’re over it. The grown-ups don’t like it, but rather than admit that they’re so petty they come us with this distraction bull. It’s ridiculous. I am so glad my boys have had principals who didn’t give two hoots about how they looked and focused on how they learned.

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